Logic

Logic

Logic

Logic

Synopsis

Bringing elementary logic out of the academic darkness into the light of day, Paul Tomassi makes logic fully accessible for anyone attempting to come to grips with the complexities of this challenging subject. Including student-friendly exercises, illustrations, summaries and a glossary of terms, Logic introduces and explains:* The Theory of Validity* The Language of Propositional Logic* Proof-Theory for Propositional Logic* Formal Semantics for Propositional Logic including the Truth-Tree Method* The Language of Quantificational Logic including the Theory of Descriptions. Logic is an ideal textbook for any logic student: perfect for revision, staying on top of coursework or for anyone wanting to learn about the subject. Related downloadable software for Macs and PCs is available for this title at www.logic.routledge.com.

Excerpt

I felt compelled to write an introductory textbook about formal logic for a number of reasons, most of which are pedagogic. I began teaching formal logic to undergraduates at the University of Edinburgh in 1985 and have continued to teach formal logic to undergraduates ever since. Speaking frankly, I have always found teaching the subject to be a particularly rewarding pastime. That may sound odd. Formal logic is widely perceived to be a difficult subject and students can and often do experience problems with it. But the pleasure I have found in teaching the subject does not derive from the anxious moments which every student experiences to some extent when approaching a first course in formal logic. Rather, it derives from later moments when self-confidence and self-esteem take a significant hike as students (many of whom will always have found mathematics daunting) realise that they can manipulate symbols, construct logical proofs and reason effectively in formal terms. The educational value and indeed the personal pleasure which such an achievement brings to a person cannot be overestimated. Enabling students to take those steps forward in intellectual and personal development is the source of the pleasure I derive from teaching formal logic. In these terms, however, the problem with existing textbooks is that they generally make too little contribution to that end.

For example, each and every year during my time at Edinburgh the formal logic class contained a significant percentage of arts students with symbol-based anxieties. More worryingly, these often included intending honours students who had either delayed taking the compulsory logic course, failed the course in earlier years or converted to Philosophy late. Many of these students were very capable people who only needed to be taught at a gentler pace or to be given some individual attention. Moreover, even the best of those students who were not so daunted by symbols regularly got into difficulties simply through having missed classes—often for the best of reasons. Given the progressive nature of the formal logic course these students frequently just failed to catch up. As a teacher, it was immensely frustrating not to be able to refer students (particularly those in the final category) to the textbook in any really useful way. The text we used

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